I am trying to launch my book Sane New World but in America you're nobody unless you're somebody famous and being unknown here means I don't exist.
I started my journey to publicise the book in New York. Everyone tells me they love New York, to me it's a gang rape on the senses. I want to confess war crimes after being kept up all night listening to trash trucks clanging. I took the subway late one night after a show, waited two hours for the right train and witnessed bedlam; feral people were howling like wolves and some guy was completely naked playing air banjo. When the right train finally came at 1:30 in the morning I was crammed in like they cram battery chickens into boxes when they're being shipped off to be executed. To get a phone card for a pay-by-phone, phone was one of the most challenging things I've ever had to do. I had to go to Broadway where tourists from hell elbow you off the sidewalk to get in front. (In front of what I don't know?) Imagine every race in the world elbowing? It's like the Olympics where every nation of the world is elbowing. It's not pretty. Some countries end up lying in the gutter others are crushed by the stronger ones. I kept hearing the English saying, "Sorry, sorry". They were almost going backwards they were so bad at pushing.
Anyway, I got to a drug store and tried to find someone who spoke English; no one did and these are Americans. I was asking about buying more time for my phone but no one seemed to know what I was talking about. It was like I was asking them to give me the square root of 7,587,498,283. To calm myself down I went to a nail bar. All of America has been hit by a plague of nail bars where people of the Orient hate you so much they try to tear your cuticles off and sandpaper the bottom of your feet. (This is a common method of torture used in Guantanamo Bay.) I asked for a back massage and was skinned by a man in two minutes.
From New York I flew to Los Angeles and stayed with a friend who I didn't realise was a hoarder; cats, letters, food, clothes akimbo, as if a typhoon had just passed through the house. There was an airlock so I slept in it. The next day Carrie Fisher interviewed me about my book and because I've known her for 35 years and love her it was like having sex in public.
The following morning I was picked up for my first interview in LA. The drive took one hour to get to a mall filled with nail bars. There amongst them was a shoddy vitamin shop. I walked through it and in the back behind a beaded curtain was my interviewer; a withered man with three hairs and dandruff holding a microphone. He opened with his theory that you can cure prostrate cancer with green tea. He then shouted, "Make-up" as if it was a standing joke because of course there weren't even any chairs let alone make-up. The man who held the home camera to film us was near death, his hands shaking so badly I'm sure we looked like a blur. The first question was which supplements or tinctures did I think cured mental illness? I mentioned something about the brain and he has no idea what I was referring to. There was a lunatic waiting to go on after me called Mr. Chuckles, wearing a hat with a propeller on top who told me he's a comedy writer like me. He had a loony tune smile and a voice like he was sucking on helium. When I asked where could see his comedy shows he told me China. On the way out I got some free cancer-cure vitamins and a book called I Eat Green Food. The person who was supposed to drive me back ran out of electricity for her electric car and needed to find a plug somewhere. I never saw her again. I had to beg Mr. Chuckles to give me a ride back to the hoarder house.
My next interview was with a corpse; a woman who died 10 years ago was glued upright in her chair. Her first words were something about lamb chops. I have no idea what else was said. Afterwards I was driven to the wrong airline so missed a plane and had to get a later one that landed in Philadelphia at 1am in the morning. When I got to the airport hotel they told me they were overbooked so they got someone to drive me to another hotel on another galaxy in the middle of nowhere. It was worth it to hear one of the great lines of my life, the driver said, "Well, the good news is it's near a Denny's." My room had footprints on the walls and ceiling and deep, dark stains on everything. That night I did my show to 30 people who had no idea what I was talking about.
Did I mention my computer died back in New York? I had gone to the Apple Store there where I had to wait until midnight to get served. Even an Apple Store is like a mental institution at that time of night. The genius bar people told me they couldn't help me and to try another Apple Store in another city. So when I got to Boston last night I went straight to Apple and they said my computer was broken. Strangely I knew that. After going to several hundred data rescuing services, I was told I had to send it to Austin Texas with a deposit of $700.00. Someone finally said I needed to have my hard drive analysed - just like I will have to be when I finally get out of this nightmare. I bought a new computer in a mall and then decided to buy food from those stores that have bowling alleys full of produce. I ended up walking through the streets of Boston with my two bags; one was holding the computer and all the accessories, the other 500 pounds of frozen yogurt and Oreos. I forgot where I was staying so had become an official bag person after three hours. I wandered the ice cold streets until someone took pity and found where I lived.
I am now writing on the new computer but am quaking inside waiting to find out what atrocity will besiege me next? This is all done in the name of selling a book and the question remains was it worth it?
You can find out all about my book Sane New World on my website - it's available in all good bookshops.Suggest a correction